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The Dow Jones faces more resistance today. Markets had a rough start to the second quarter in response to the coronavirus outbreak, and it does not look like it's getting much better.
We don't know how long this will last, but the unemployment numbers show we're not over the hill yet. Today, we'll discuss what you need to know moving forward.
Before we dive into the latest stories and more, here are the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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Now here's a closer look at what I'm following today. These are the most important market events and stocks.
The Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday
- This morning, investors are paying very close attention to jobless claims from the U.S. Department of Labor. Last week, the agency reported that 3.2 million Americans had applied for unemployment benefits. Today, that figure reached 6 million. Economists had expected roughly 4 million to 5 million people to file for unemployment, with the high range at 9 million.
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- Meanwhile, the total number of coronavirus cases topped 938,000 around the world. At least 47,300 people have died as a result of the spread of the virus. The state of New York now has 83,000 cases, while Michigan has now topped 9,300. China has reported another 35 new cases but claims that all of them are imported. This news contradicts reports of lockdowns in several counties across China. Meanwhile, nations are scrambling economically to contain the damage caused by the viral spread and the ensuing social lockdowns. The European Union has called on its members to enact a fiscal program that rivals the Marshall Plan, the U.S. initiative that rescued the European economy after World War II.
- Finally, oil prices rallied this morning on hopes that Saudi Arabia and Russia can reach a deal to put the genie back in the bottle and cap OPEC+ production. Oil prices plunged during the first quarter, after Saudi Arabia elected to flood the market and cut prices to capture market share. At the time, Russia had refused additional production cuts in the wake of the coronavirus's spread. U.S. President Donald Trump is now calling on both countries to come to the negotiating table soon.
Stock to Watch Today: MRNA, ZM, FB, GOOGL
- Shares of Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) are on the move after regulators announced that they have fast-tracked clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine. While it would take 12 to 18 months to develop a vaccine, it would provide a massive shift in the fight against the disease. The company began human drug trials on March 16.
- Shares of Zoom Video Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) have plunged more than 10% in two days as markets raise concerns about privacy after a series of "Zoom Bombing" incidents. Hackers have targeted large meetings, including school conference and AA meetings to disrupt them. A new lawsuit also accuses the company of giving out people's personal data to Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) and other companies without informing customers. Zoom stock had been a darling of the new normal for remote businesses, given that so many American workers need to work from home. The company said today that its daily users surged to 200 million people in March. Its previous high was 10 million.
- The mainstream media is not very smart. On April Fool's Day, multiple outlets reported that Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) would no longer hire lobbyists and think tanks that deny that humans are responsible for climate change. However, it turns out that the statement was not made by Google, but by a parody account.
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.